Mé is the one in our house who has all the arts and crafts type talent. She’s got a gift for getting the kids excited about projects they’ll create with their own hands – with a little help from maman. Really though, what’s not to be excited about when you’re let loose, after a fashion, with markers, glue, scissors, paint and a variety of mixed media materials.
Nellie and Noah both got going at a young age. Whenever Mé asks if they want to gather around the table for some bricolage, the response is always squeals of delight. For Nellie I’m sure it’s more than the crafts. It’s also the opportunities that might present themselves. Just once she’s hoping to make a clean getaway with markers, or glue that she can apply with abandon in the most inappropriate places.
Her full body scan’s earth tone swirling spirals are created with random élan. She does not brook outlines that demarcate where and where not to colour. As Queen of the Markers, Nellie is not bound by any conventions at all save the recurring messaging from both Mé and I asking her to limit her colouring to paper surfaces. Even in this she will slip, if not closely supervised, as we found earlier this week when we discovered some unmistakable Nellie markings on the family room’s cork floor.
Noah is building up quite a portfolio. A number of pieces are on loan to me for display in my office. They have a great aura about them and bring a warm smile to my face. As I was preparing for parental leave, he admonished me to ensure that I would not forget any of his bricolages in the office when I temporarily vacated. I made sure to pack them all and bring them safely home.
One of them has a particular hold one me. It’s a mixed media bird in its nest. I had this piece perched on a window ledge ready to fly away over the downtown traffic when freedom and adventure beckoned. This is my favourite work to date from his young art period. It’s an endearing sculpture that I hope to keep for ever as a reminder of his encounters with beauty, his touch of grace.
His full body scan is no slouch either, an impressive use of colour and stickers as the close up of the head depicts. This is a happy boy out under the sun. His green pants are form fitting as is everything else.
It’s no secret that most kids love this kind of creative expression, especially if it also provides them with a chance to get all messy. Why do so few carry the art bug through into their adult lives?
Nellie has just started with a toddler play group that meets twice a week. There’s something artsy or craftsy at each session.
There is plenty more art coming our way over the months and years ahead. Such is the magic of digital that we’ll be able to capture and keep files of the best creations by all the kids.
It’s a shame I didn’t have this for Kyla and Alexa. I was able to keep a few paper and ceramic treasures that may be featured here some day. I’ll have to get permission from the respective artists first.I’ll take advantage of today’s technology to create a digital archives of their best work so they’ll be able to enjoy down the road.
Thanks to Mé and all the other parents and teachers who make the time for their kids to explore and play with art materials.